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Hai Sai! Welcome to my Blog.

Hello, my name is Tom Corrao and I am the blogger behind the Okinawaology Blog. I created this blog to share and discuss all things Okinawan. I’m also the Public Relations Officer and Minkan Taishi to the Chicago Okinawa Kenjinkai. My experience with Okinawa is derived from the time I spent there during the 1980's and 90's (10 years) when serving in the United States Air Force. I've also been married to an Okinawan woman for 30 years now and have been immersed in many things Okinawan through both friends and family. I do not claim to be all knowing about everything Okinawan but I try hard and study the history and culture. I welcome everyone that is interested in Okinawa and hope that I can provide useful information to those uchinanchu that may be curious about their culture and heritage. I also welcome those who are not of Okinawan heritage but have experienced, or are experiencing, the islands culture while stationed there with the United States Military. Comments are welcomed and will be published as long as they are in good taste and on track with the purpose of this blog. My hope with this blog is to bring Uchinanchu people around the world a little closer to their cultural roots by expressing information that has started to fade in light of a more modern world. We should never forget our culture or the people who came before us and through the Blog my intentions are to meld the old with the new and implant knowledge that will help maintain the traditions and culture of an island people.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Cave of Todoroki

Hi everyone, Today I wanted to share with you an interesting interactive panoramic photo. I borrowed this from the web so I'm not taking credit for it but it was just too good not to share. You'll need quicktime installed to view it but most computers will already have it installed. Here's the story:

There are many natural caves of various sizes in the southern section of the Okinawa's main island. They are called Gama in the islands where during the midst of the Battle for Okinawa, they were used by both the Japanese army and Okinawan citizens’ for refuge from the fighting.

The cave of Todoroki is a natural cave in Itoman city. It consists of perpendicular and cylindrical doline with a center diameter of about 30 meters. The cave also has groundwater which flows through it. In it Okinawans faced the worst of both sides of the battle.

During the battle hundreds of Okinawan citizens took refuge in the cave as well as tens of Japanese soldiers. It is said that there was a baby who was screaming out from hunger and was strangled to death by a Japanese soldier to prevent giving away their position to the Americans. Okinawans who were going to surrender and others who spoke the local dialect were also killed by the Japanese soldiers as spies. Okinawan citizens were also made to leave the shelter of the cave dispite the intense gunfire. There was little food and some of the children also starved to death in this cave.

Then when surrender advice was not followed the US Forces, without distinguishing between Okinawan citizens and the Japanese army, threw the bombs or hand grenades into the cave. Later in the battle, Lieutenant-General Simon Buckner was killed in the by Japanese artillery bombardment at Maesato village on June 18, 1945. It is said that the US forces killed all of the civilians and POWs in retaliation.

This panorama photo is taken in the the direction of the center of the cave near the entrance of Todoroki cave.

Today, these caves are included in the courses given to junior and high school students, as a part of peace education in Japan and for the renunciation of war as a time when people can do vicarious deeds.


Here it is in Japanese
轟の壕

沖縄本島南部には、ガマと呼ばれる大小様々な自然洞窟がありました。沖縄戦の最中は、軍隊および住民の避難壕として使用されていました。轟の壕は、糸満市糸敷にある自然洞窟で、直径30mほどの円筒形の垂直のドリーネ、中段の洞窟、さらにその下の方には地下水が流れる洞窟が続いていました。

当時、轟の壕には数百人の住民が避難しており、その後、数十人の日本兵が敗走してきました。壕の中では、米軍に見つかるからと、空腹で泣き叫ぶ赤ん坊が日本兵に絞め殺され、投降しようとする住民や沖縄の方言を話す住民はスパイとして斬り殺され、米軍の激しい掃討作戦の中、避難壕から住民が追い出され、壕内で餓死する子供もいたと言われています。一方、米軍は、投降勧告に従わない場合、住民、軍の区別なく容赦なく爆弾、手榴弾を壕に投げ込んでいきました。また、6月18日、真栄里で日本軍の砲撃により米軍のバックナー司令官が戦死すると、米軍は、報復戦として、民間人、投降者も殺害したと言われています。

このパノラマは、轟の壕の入り口付近から中段の洞窟方向を撮影したものです。

現在、こうした壕は、中学校、高等学校の修学旅行のコースに組み込まれ、戦争の追体験ができる場所として、二度と戦争を繰り返さないための平和教育の一部として活用されています。


Information borrowed from the Panoramas of WWII Landmarks web site.

1 comment:

  1. Could you post directions or GPS coordinates to this cave? I cannot find any information online. I know it is off 223 in Ihara.

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